DNA arrest in 1999 school girl murder raises many questions

The arrest of a 45-year-old Frisian farmer in connection with the rape and murder of a schoolgirl 13 years ago continues to dominate Tuesday’s front pages.

In particular, papers are looking at the impact of the arrest on the small farming communities where the murder and arrest took place.
The Telegraaf says Jasper S, a father of two from the village of Oudwoude, appears to have been ‘totally surprised’ by his arrest.
‘Nothing would appear to show he was expecting to be arrested… and neighbours say he had just asked for a tender to expand his cowshed,’ the paper reports.
One neighbour told the paper S gave a dna sample on the last day of the police campaign to test the dna of over 7,000 men who lived or worked within a five kilometre radius of where Marianne Vaatstra’s body was found.
The Telegraaf also points out S was banned from driving in 2009 after taking a colleagues car and driving 100 kph in a 30 kph zone. ‘A psychiatrist said at the time he had a disassociation syndrome and did not know what he was doing,’ the paper states.
The Volkskrant headlines its article ‘the farmer with the big secret’ and quotes the village bar owner who heard S and three friends talking after they had given their dna samples.
‘But they had more important things to talk about than a 13-year old murder,’ the paper says. ‘The conversation quickly turned to trading cows, farms talk.’
Neighbours describe S as a friendly, helpful man but point out he is from a strict Protestant family, which is unusual in their village.
Nearby, in Zwaagwesteinde, the village where Marianne Vaatstra grew up, a few flags have been hung out, the paper says. ‘Everyone had their own idea of who did it, in silence,’ the paper said. ‘What if S is guilty? Should we then take a bunch of flowers to the asylum seekers centre which is no longer there?’ the owner of a local music shop said.
Many locals thought an asylum seeker was behind the killing, and two were picked up in connection with the case.
Nos television says the arrest of Jasper S has been a big shock to his parents who still live in the same small village of Oudwoude.
Local mayor Bearn Bilker says they are full of questions about why their son may have committed the murder and what will now happen to the family farm.
The man’s wife and two children have left Friesland for a secret address while the farm is searched for evidence and the son is unwilling to take it over, Nos says.
On Tuesday evening there will be village meetings in both Oudwoude and Zwaagwesteinde. The Oudwoude church will also be opened for those who need it. There is a real need among locals to talk about what has happened and share their feelings, Bilker told the broadcaster.

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